TROY, Mich. (March 8, 2002) — Penske Auto Centers Inc. will close 63 locations nationwide as part of the fallout of Kmart Corp.'s announcement that it will close 284 stores in 40 states and in Puerto Rico.
Penske said approximately 300 employees will be affected by the closures but that the majority of them would be retained at remaining Penske locations.
“We expect the impact of these closings on our business to be minimal,” Penske President and CEO Jim Wheat said. “I'm pleased to say the remaining 526 auto centers are strong and performing well.”
Troy-based Penske remains the nation's largest independent tire dealership. The company said all products and customer service warranties will be honored at other Penske stores. Penske has established a toll-free number for customers to find the nearest center.
In the wake of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Jan. 22, Kmart announced March 8 that it plans to close 284 stores. The national retailer told Crain's Detroit Business, a sister publication of Tire Business, that it is closing the stores to create a more efficient economy. Kmart officials were not available to say whether more closures will be announced later.
The Kmart closings will cost 22,000 their jobs at those locations, which will remain open until the list is approved by US Bankruptcy Court.
Kmart said it expects to record a charge of $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion resulting from the closings, which include 271 discount stores and 12 Super Kmarts.